Spiritual Resources

The Spiritual Life Committee seeks to support the spiritual life and growth of the Christ Church community. We offer here a variety of spiritually enriching resources.

Books

Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community by Diana Butler Bass. 2002. Butler Bass’s memoir of her experiences in eight different Episcopal congregations over a twenty-year period—and in her move away from conservative evangelical religion toward a broader, more open understanding of Christian faith. Quirky, funny, honest, and sad, Strength was named one of the best religion books of 2002 by Publishers Weekly.

Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life by Kathleen Norris. 2008. "Acedia may be an unfamiliar term to those not well-versed in monastic history or medieval literature. But that does not mean it has no relevance for contemporary readers. . . . I believe that such standard dictionary definitions of acedia as 'apathy,' 'boredom,' or 'torpor' do not begin to cover it, and while we may find it convenient to regard it as a more primitive word for what we now term depression, the truth is much more complex. Having experienced both conditions, I think it likely that much of the restless boredom, frantic escapism, commitment phobia, and enervating despair that plagues us today is the ancient demon of acedia in modern dress." This observation comes from Kathleen Norris, the award-winning poet and author. More

Seven Sacred Pauses:Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day by Macrina Wiederkehr. 2008. Macrina Wiederkehr makes her home with the Sisters of St. Scholastica in Fort Smith, Arkansas. She is a master of everyday spirituality. In her seventh book, she presents an abundance of resources for those of any spiritual tradition who want to devote themselves to the devotional practice of pausing seven times a day for The Prayer of the Hours. Monastics follow the sacred hours and find within this ritual a great and refreshing freedom and sense of connection to others. More

 

Retreat Centers

The Spirituality Center at Daylesford Abbey (Paoli, PA).

The Franciscan Spiritual Center (Aston, PA).

Holy Cross Monastery (West Park, NY).

Full list of retreat centers(pdf)

 

Films and DVDs

Mother Teresa: A Life of Devotion (1997, DVD). For over 50 years, Mother Teresa dedicated herself to the poorest of the poor. The order she founded -- the Missionaries of Charity -- grew to encompass more than 3,000 members working in 25 countries. She earned the Nobel Peace Prize, yet she remained unchanged, giving all she had to help the unfortunate. This moving portrait is highlighted by interviews with those who knew Mother Teresa, from orphans to world leaders.

10 Questions for the Dalai Lama (2006, DVD). This fascinating documentary intertwines an interview with the Dalai Lama, a look back at the history of the spiritual leader and an exploration of the culture of the small city of Dharamsala, India, where His Holiness was exiled 50 years ago. After emailing the Dalai Lama to set up an interview, filmmaker Rick Ray spends the three months until the promised meeting getting a firsthand view of the living conditions and economy in Dharamsala. The Case for a Creator (2006, DVD). Award-winning journalist and longtime atheist Lee Strobel embarks on an intense search for scientific evidence that God exists. Strobel, a former writer for the Chicago Tribune begins to question his lack of religious faith when his wife converts to Christianity. Based on the New York Times best-seller The Case for a Creator asks the question, Can science prove what religious leaders and the faithful have always taken for granted?

The Case for a Creator (2006, DVD). Award-winning journalist and longtime atheist Lee Strobel embarks on an intense search for scientific evidence that God exists. Strobel, a former writer for the Chicago Tribune begins to question his lack of religious faith when his wife converts to Christianity. Based on the New York Times best-seller The Case for a Creator asks the question, Can science prove what religious leaders and the faithful have always taken for granted?

Into Great Slience (2005, DVD). A prize winner at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, director Philip Groening's study of the Grande Chartreuse monastery introduces a world of austere beauty, following the daily activities of the resident monks, whose silence is broken only by prayer and song. With no other sound save the natural rhythms of age-old routines being carried out, the film captures the simplicity -- and profundity -- of lives lived with absolute purpose and presence.

The Power of Forgiveness (2007, DVD). An Amish community rocked by a school shooting, survivors of 9/11, victims of the "troubles" of Northern Ireland and others share their views on how forgiveness has helped to alleviate their grief and resentment in this emotional documentary. Filmmaker Martin Doblmeier explores the spiritual, physical and psychological benefits of forgiveness and includes interviews with Elie Weisel and Vietnamese Buddhist leader Thich Nhat Hanh.

Bonhoeffer (2003, DVD). This poignant documentary traces the life of German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was one of the first to speak up against Adolph Hitler throughout Hitler's rise to power. Bonhoeffer organized the Confessing Church, the only structured revolt against Hitler, and turned to his roots as a devout Christian for the strength to take a political stand for Jews everywhere.

 

Websites and Podcasts

The Daily Office (mission of St. Clare)

Education for Ministry

Spiritual Resources Committee (Diocese of PA)

The Rhythm Divine. A musical journey through the world of belief. Join Geoff Wood as he explores the deep river of music and song from the world's religious traditions, from the new spiritual practices, and from the fusion of religion and pop culture. The focus is on music with a spiritual impulse - from the sounds of the Sufis to Johnny Cash, from Bach to Zen, from ragas to reggae to gospel.

The Ark. Rachael Kohn talks to some of the world's leading religious historians and authors about curious moments in religious history that shatter the usual perception of the past and illuminate the present.

Encounter. This series explores the connections between religion and life. Encounter invites the listener to make connections intellectually, emotionally and intuitively across a broad spectrum of topics.

The Religion Report. This weekly half-hour program offers analysis of events shaping the world of religion and the religious events that increasingly seem to be shaping our world. Listen to the Religion Report if you're interested in the interaction between culture, politics, history, theology, philosophy, law and spirituality.

The Spirit of Things. An adventure into religion and spirituality. It explores contemporary values and beliefs as expressed through ritual, art, music, and sacred texts. The Spirit of Things focuses on how we discover, celebrate and make sense of spiritual meaning in our lives, both in established traditions and novel beliefs and practices.

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. Provides cutting-edge news coverage and analysis of national and international events in the ever-changing religious world. Examines religion’s role — and the ethical dimensions — behind top news headlines.

Speaking of Faith. Public radio's weekly program about "religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas."

Sound and Spirit. A weekly series of hour-long radio programs exploring the human spirit through music and ideas. Sound & Spirit weaves history, myth, and spiritual traditions together with music to take listeners on a journey around the world and through the ages. With subjects ranging from pilgrimage to family relationships, Shakers to Buddhists, and births to funerals, there is always something new to explore.

Beliefnet. Beliefnet’s mission is to help people find, and walk, a spiritual path that will bring comfort, hope, clarity, strength, and happiness. Whether they're exploring their own faith or other spiritual traditions, Beliefnet provides them inspiring devotional tools, access to the best spiritual teachers and clergy in the world, thought-provoking commentary, and a supportive community. Beliefnet is the largest spiritual web site, independent and not affiliated with any spiritual organization or movement.

Philadelphia Theological Institute